Pink East-Himalayan Coneflower
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Pink East-Himalayan Coneflower
P Native Photo: Rajib Gogoi
Common name: Pink East-Himalayan Coneflower, Prickly Coneflower
Botanical name: Strobilanthes echinata    Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)
Synonyms: Strobilanthes pectinata, Ruellia echinata, Strobilanthes calvata

Pink East-Himalayan Coneflower is a herb up to 2 m tall, with unequally paired leaves. Flowers are borne in headlike, 4-8-flowered cluster, enveloped by bracts, carried on a short flower-cluster-stalk. Flowers are violet, 4.5-5.5 cm, hairless, tube basally cylindric and about 2 mm wide for about 1.5 mm then swollen and widened to about 1.5 cm at mouth. Petals are ovate, 8-9 x 8-10 mm, tip rounded. Fertile stamens are 4, not protruding. Sepal-cup is 1.5-2 cm, velvet-hairy, 5-lobed almost to base; sepals linear, 12-19 x 1-2 mm, nearly equal. Stems are nearly round to 4-angled, grooved, velvet-hairy or becoming hairless. Leaves are stalked but upper ones nearly stalkless; leaf-stalk 0.5-4 cm, flat, slightly winged, leaf blade ovate, elliptic, or ovate-lanceshaped, 4-20 x 1.5-7.5 cm, smaller of pair about 1/2 size of larger one, below pale green, above green, secondary veins 7-11 on each side of midvein, base wedge-shaped and decurrent onto leaf-stalk, margin rounded toothed-sawtoothed, tip tapering. Capsules are spindle-shaped, 1.2-1.8 cm, hairless, 4-seeded. Pink East-Himalayan Coneflower is found in the moist forests of East Himalaya to China and SE Asia, at altitudes of 100-2200 m. Flowering: May-September.

Identification credit: Rajib Gogoi Photographed around Gangtok, Sikkim.

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